Every day at 5:15 pm, I run my personal gauntlet of temptation.
It begins at the top of escalator out of the metro, leading me into Union Station, an historic train station, metro stop, and shopping destination that stands between me and getting to daycare on time to pick up my son. My child awaits, I know, and I must go to him. But each day my resolve is tested.
First there is the bookstore. There are tables in the front calling to me. “New releases!” they beckon. “Look! David Sedaris! Jen Lancaster! US Weekly! Come in!”
I don’t look up after the bookstore for fear I will see her up on the second level. Ann Taylor, the siren with her jewel-toned summer clothes just begging me to try them on. “No, no!” I remind myself. “Ann’s pants don’t even fit you anymore, not since your waist disappeared post-baby!” I carry on, trying not to think about cardigans.
I keep my head down and try not to notice Dr. Andrew Weil’s Santa-esque face twinkling at me outside Origins where they will sell me something organic to slow the aging process. I stare straight ahead and do not acknowledge the Body Shop with its bright colors and unpronouncable extracts. I zip right past the cholcolatier and pretend the word “Truffle” didn’t catch my eye.
Only one more obstacle before I’m through. Just one more demon to slay.
The shoe store.
|Photo Credit: Stasi Albert
It used to be 9 West but now it’s something else, something new with many brands and a decor that’s a cross between a boudoir and a candy store. Shoes revolve on mirrored pedestals and handbags hang enticingly above. But I don’t have time! My boy is waiting for his Mama! I have to go, I have to carry on, I can’t stop and look at the…oh, my god, are those red peep-toe pumps covered in linen? Oh. My. They would be so cute with my black sundress and I know my size, I could just buy them without trying them on and…
NO! Must. Go. To. Daycare.
A few more steps and I’m past the pumps, past temptation in its many forms. I’m in the sun on my way to daycare where my child smiles at me and lights me up more than any pair of shoes could ever do and I am safe.